Letter from Norman Browning
We publish below part of a letter received by Miss Browning, May St., from her nephew Norman, who is now in England with the second contingent and stationed at Sandling camp. Norman is 19 years of age and a plucky young Canadian, ready to do his best for King and Country.
"I am writing to you at last. I'm afraid I have been a little slow and hope you will overlook it this time. The air and weather are certainly fine here. I like the country but do not care much for the towns, the streets seem so narrow and crowded. I don't think I could live in one very long.
The camp is nothing like the exhibition, we are living in long wooden huts, thirty men in each. Each man has two boards to go across two blocks, with straw mattresses and blankets and they are folded up and stood against the wall in the day. They are pretty comfortable. Of course the work is much harder here, and we are settling down to hard training and little discomforts.
We had a fairly good sea voyage. I was not sea sick, but felt shakey for a few days when it was rough.
We certainly saw some pretty scenery on the train from Plymouth to Shorncliffe, about six hours' ride. We saw Windsor Castle, the White City, had a mile and a half ride in a tunnel under the Crystal Palace, and we also went through the suburbs of London. The ride along the seashore was fine. Sandling Camp is just four miles from Shorncliffe.
We are all eager to get over to France and take our chances at the real thing. Jim Wilson left for there Thursday morning. He was delighted. I only saw him four times. He was staying at Shorncliffe Camp.
There is awful slaughter going on at the front. I have seen six train loads of wounded go past and the hospitals around here are crowded.
Well, according to the U.S., Germany are not sparing money or energy to gain their ends. That was quite a scheme to get hold of the munition works, but it failed like others have and will. The papers this morning said that out of nine million Germans and three million Austrians, there are 3,000,000 put out of action. However, there are other ways in which they can be beaten. I think it will be some time yet, but I hope it will be soon."